When did you learn the life is not always fair? Model 1: I learned that life is not always fair when my son was born. He has a disability that makes his life hard. It is hard for all of us, and it is not fair. This example is weak, and it would not earn full points at all! Model 2: I learned that life is not always fair from my son, Jonah. When he was born he was diagnosed with congenital heart defects. We had to be very careful, and we had to watch him closely while he was a baby. As he got older, we stopped worrying about his heart defect and began worrying about other things. Unlike his cousins and our friends’ children, Jonah wasn’t talking at age two. We had him evaluated, and he was diagnosed with autism, a neurological disorder that affects communication and the way the world is processed and perceived. I could not understand why my precious son had to have this challenging life. I know, however, that he is a happy, intelligent boy; thus, despite his disabilities, he thrives. This example is stronger, and it is a good example of what your ten answers should look like. This would earn full points. Model 3: There have been many times in my life when I have felt life was unfair: when my grandfather died, when my high school boyfriend broke up with me two weeks before the prom, when my best friend moved to Montana. However, above all else, one person and experience stands out in my mind. My son, Jonah, is my oldest child; awaiting his arrival was the most exciting time of my life, but his entrance into this world was rocky. After 20 hours in labor, the doctor performed an emergency c-section, and my beautiful baby emerged. The next day, the pediatrician told me that Jonah had a heart defect; he had been born with three holes in his heart, and he may need surgery. He had to be monitored in the hospital and then closely watched at home for the first year of his life. Once that mess was behind us, Jonah grew into a happy, loving, quirky toddler, but by his second birthday, he had not uttered a word. The pediatrician referred us to a speech pathologist who, in time, referred us to a developmental psychologist, who, upon spending five minutes with our son, pronounced his diagnosis: autism. I knew some things about autism, but I felt utterly overwhelmed and confused. Why, I wondered, would God let something happen to someone so precious and innocent as my beautiful blonde-haired boy? I looked around over the coming weeks at my friends’ kids, at my niece. I listened to their little voices ask for milk, or say “mama.” I watched my Jonah spin in circles (a favorite activity of his, and one, I learned, common to kids with autism) while other kids played dolls or cars or trains. I cried, often, openly. Then, one night, I snuck into Jonah’s room to check on him while he slept. I heard him breathing softly, and I snuck over to tuck him in tightly. He sighed and rolled over, and as I reached to brush his long blonde bangs from his eyes, it hit me. “This is my boy,” I thought, “Autism or not, he is that same baby I brought home from the hospital, and we will get through this.” That thought gave me the strength to stop feeling sorry for Jonah and myself, and to be proactive in solving his issues. Sure, life is not fair, we all know that, but what is fair about life is often just a matter of how you look at it. Is it fair that Jonah has autism? Is it fair that at five and a half, he can only say 3 words (hi, bye and up, if you’re interested)? Of course not, but is it fair that I have such a delightful, happy, loving son, while many who want kids can’t have any? Is it fair that I ended up with the cutest kid on earth, while others have to settle for mediocre looking babies? Is it fair that Jonah is amazingly smart while others have to suffer through life lacking in intelligence? Again, no. Life is not fair, but your perspective is what really matters. Be happy with what life has given you, and fairness becomes a moot point. I believe that life is unfair, but it doesn’t really matter what life has dealt you, it matters what you do with your hand. This is an example of where you are going.